Endless Yearning II
- Poetry of Li Bai (Li Po)


- Last updated: 2024-04-23 22:14:59

Endless Yearning II by Li Bai (Li Po)






English Translation

"The sun has set, and a mist is in the flowers;

And the moon grows very white and people sad and sleepless.

A Zhao harp has just been laid mute on its phoenix holder,

And a Shu lute begins to sound its mandarin-duck strings....

Since nobody can bear to you the burden of my song,

Would that it might follow the spring wind to Yanran Mountain.

I think of you far away, beyond the blue sky,

And my eyes that once were sparkling

Are now a well of tears.

...Oh, if ever you should doubt this aching of my heart,

Here in my bright mirror come back and look at me!"


Why Chinese poems is so special?
The most distinctive features of Chinese poetry are: concision- many poems are only four lines, and few are much longer than eight; ambiguity- number, tense and parts of speech are often undetermined, creating particularly rich interpretative possibilities; and structure- most poems follow quite strict formal patterns which have beauty in themselves as well as highlighting meaningful contrasts.
How to read a Chinese poem?
Like an English poem, but more so. Everything is there for a reason, so try to find that reason. Think about all the possible connotations, and be aware of the different possibilities of number and tense. Look for contrasts: within lines, between the lines of each couplet and between successive couplets. Above all, don't worry about what the poet meant- find your meaning.

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